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Certification Watch (Vol. 21, No. 11)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Microsoft Learning is seeking highly-qualified subject matter experts, ISACA certification can make you rich beyond your wildest dreams, and more.

Global Software Company Seeks Tech Brainiacs; Must Love Certification


Do you know IT backwards and forwards? Microsoft Learning wants to avail itself of your expertise.Here's an offer that doesn't come along very often. Plenty of certification programs go after Man (or Woman) on the IT Street types to be the on-the-lot purchaser who kicks the tires and slam the doors of new certification exams. If want to take an exam and see whether someone else did a good job of putting it together, then exam betas are a dime a dozen. It's more rare, on the other hand, to be invited into the circle of exam creators — to be asked to actually put the thing together before someone else kicks the tires. Microsoft Learning certification guru Liberty Munson activated the Bat Signal earlier today, so to speak, inviting those with deep knowledge of technical topics to join a database of Microsoft certification subject matter experts (SMEs). There's a form to fill out, and volunteering to participate does not guarantee actual participation. Munson said that Microsoft Learning team members regularly consult the database to dig up SMEs, however, so if you want to dive in and get up to your elbows in the guts of a certification exam, then this is an excellent way to get yourself one step closer to living the dream.


What Is a Network Support Specialist?


I'll take IT careers, Alex, for $600. New this week at the IT Career News blog of tech industry association CompTIA is the latest in a periodic series of thumbnail sketches that paint a picture of various IT careers. This time around, the spinner has landed on Network Support Specialist, a selection that neatly coincides with CompTIA's recent release of its newest revision to the popular Network+ certification exam, N10-007. A network support specialist, you will learn, is responsible to "analyze, troubleshoot, and evaluate computer network problems." Starting salaries for the position are in the $65,000/year ballpark, and most employers expect candidates to have at least an associate's degree, though many prefer a bachelor's degree. There's all kinds of cool information about the role itself, as well as the IT background needed to tackle it. If you're interested in getting into the computer networking world at the ground level, then click on over for more details.


The (Possibly Grim) Future of IT Certification


It's been more than 50 years since raspy-voice rock troubador extraordinaire Bob Dylan got out his lyrical bullhorn to inform us all that "The Times, They Are a Changin'." The song could have been written in any era, of course, because the times are always a changin', and perhaps nowhere is that more true than in the IT certification realm. The real question is, what is IT certification (and those whose bread is buttered in that realm) doing to keep up? To judge by a recent article from our good friends at Certification Magazine, the outlook is not all wine and roses. There's reason to be optimistic about the future of IT certification, of course, but there are also long-term warning signs that the industry needs to adapt in order to survive.